Q: What options would I have if a defective TV stand broke my TV and other expensive electronics?
What options would I have if I purchased a TV stand (online, but live in California [if it makes a difference]), assembled it exactly according to the manual, and without any external force/stimulus (earthquake, draft, etc.), the TV stand broke (wooden legs collapsed/broke, or glass tabletop cracked/broke) causing the TV to fall and break, as well as break all the other electronics it was holding; Audio-Video Receiver (AVR), Speaker(s), video game consoles (4; Playstation 3, Xbox One S, Playstation 4 Pro, Nintendo Switch), UHD HDR BluRay disc player, modem, router, cable box, various movies/Bluray Discs, etc.?
If it's pertinent, damages would be upward of $6,500 USD (TV=$3.5k+, AVR=$800+, speakers=$600+, consoles=$1k+, movie disc player=$100+, router[ASUS RT-AC5300]=$300+, etc.) (prices on store receipt). Also, everything was weighed beforehand and confirmed that the TV stand unit was rated to hold cumulative and precise (top layer rated 135 lbs., middle shelf 50 lbs., etc.) weight.
A: To be honest, it seems pretty unlikely that every single piece of electronics was damaged so severely that they are all inoperable. Moreover, your stated value of the router is about $40 too high. Similar exaggerations for the value of the other equipment will be devastating to your credibility.
However, to pursue a claim, you would first make a written demand upon the manufacturer and retailer of the stand for compensation for your damages setting forth each damaged component by model number and serial number, together with evidence of the purchase cost and replacement cost for each item. If you fail to agree upon adequate compensation, you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims for product liability, breach of contract, breach of warranty of merchantability and breach of warranty of fitness for particular purpose. An attorney can prepare the paperwork for you, and get it filed and served. Attorneys are not allowed at the actual hearing.
If you sue, bring all evidence of the purchase of the stand and of the electronic equipment (receipts), the manual and warranty for the stand, along with some kind of proof of value of the equipment (receipts, offers for sale of replacement equipment, etc.). You may also need to prove that each item is inoperable as a consequence of the collapse of the TV stand and nor for some other reason. Photographs might suffice, but a written statement from an electronics technician would be better.
Plaintiff’s Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court; Form SC-100 (Lawsuit for monetary damages)
Other Defendants; Form SC-100A;
Proof of Service; Form SC-104
No guaranties that these are the appropriate forms or that a Small Claims Judge will rule in your favor.
1 user found this answer helpful
A: I am going to have to agree with Mr. Light: Unless the TV and each of the electronic components you claim to have lost to damages was a top of the line first class brand, and also brand spanking new, right out of each box they came in, your estimation of their replacement costs are way out of line. And even if all were brand new, as Mr. Light noticed, it is not possible that all of you equipment was "broken" beyond repair. Finally, even if all the stuff was brand new right out of the box, it appears that the price you paid for most of them was way too high.
I am NOT advising you to forget about suing the manufacturer and the store where you bought the wooden TV stand; all I want you to understand is that--at least in civil litigation--asking and getting are not the same.
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